Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake Recipe

This is one of my favorite cakes of the past ten years. A rustic, incredibly moist, golden-crumbed loaf cake, flecked with rosemary, and dotted throughout with big and small chocolate chunks, it's one of those cakes that is both distinctive and memorable in an understated way, and a breeze to make. We have Kim Boyce to thank for the recipe, and you might remember it from when I originally posted it here after Kim released Good to the Grain back in 2010. I made this beauty over the weekend so that I could send a few thick slices along with Wayne on his flight to Tokyo. :)


Olive Oil Cake Recipe

The rosemary is the wild card factor here, and it permeates the cake in a subtle but steady way, not at all overpowering. Bonus points for the cake being a breeze to make - ten minutes tops to get it in the oven. Perfect when you're trying to pull things together for a trip.

I made a few minor tweaks to Kim's original recipe, and you can see them integrated into the recipe below - most are stylistic more than anything. And I converted the recipe to weights for some of you. I wanted to bake it in a vintage baton cake pan I found in Portland a few years ago (my $1 pan!), and aside from a slightly longer baking time, that was no problem. I also decided I wanted more chocolate visible on top, and a bit of a sugary top crust.

Olive Oil Cake Recipe

It's one of those perfect picnic, travel, or lunchbox cakes. I can't believe it has been six years since I originally highlighted it here, but I love that it is still part of my repertoire. Xo Kim & congrats on the much deserved James Beard Award nomination! xx -h

Rosemary Olive Oil Cake

As Kim notes,you don't need to use a specialty olive oil for this cake. But if you have one with a lot of flavor, the cake will be that much better. This is one of those recipes where I think using regular sugar is the way to go. There was plenty going on with the interplay between the rosemary, chocolate, and olive oil - and I'm not sure adding less refined brown or Muscovado sugar would have been the way to go. The last note I'll make is to suggest chopping up a chocolate bar for this. It's just not going to be the same if you use uniform chocolate chips. Aim for big chunks 1/2-inch in diameter, you'll end up with all sorts of shavings and littler pieces as you are chopping, and having that mix of flecks and the big chunks is pretty great.

Olive oil for the pan

Dry ingredients:
3/4 cup / 3 oz / 80g spelt flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 cups / 7.5 oz / 210 g all-purpose flour
3/4 cup / 4 oz / 115g sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet ingredients:
3 eggs
1 cup / 240 ml olive oil
3/4 cup / 180 ml whole milk

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces / 140 g bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar for top crunch

Preheat the oven to 350F / 175C. Rub a 9 1/2-inch (24 cm) fluted tart pan, or equivalent, with olive oil (and/or line with parchment paper).

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any bits of grain or other ingredients left in the sifter back into the bowl. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. Add the olive oil, milk and rosemary and whisk again. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry, gently mixing just until combined. Stir in 2/3 of the chocolate. Pour the batter into the pan, spreading it evenly and smoothing the top. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate and run a fork along the length of the chocolate so that the batter envelops it just a bit. Sprinkle with the second sugar.

Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is domed, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. My cake, in the alternate pan, took closer to 50 minutes. Also, just when my cake was nearly finished baking, I decided I wanted a bit more color on top. I finished it under the broiler for a minute - which caramelized the sugar on top as well and gave it a bit of crunch. Don't walk away from the cake while it is under the broiler.

The cake can be eaten warm or cool from the pan, or cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic, and kept for 2 days.

Serves 8 -12.

Recipe adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce.

Prep time: 15 min - Cook time: 45 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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something so wonderful about more savory cakes combined with sweet ingredients. hearty and yet dainty at the same time!


That sounds like the literary/culinary event of the year!


I just bought Kim's book and love it! I'll try this recipe soon - it sounds very good.

P.S. love the bread pan


I've been seeing many bread and cake recipes that call for olive oil in place of butter or other fats, but I'm completely intrigued with this one. I would of never thought to add rosemary along with chocolate. This is a beautiful and rustic dessert.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

Heidi, where do you get your spelt flour? I live in the East Bay and looked for it at Berkeley Bowl but they didn't have it, which surprises me since they seem to have just about everything. I was going to use it to make the turnip greens tart but now I have two recipes I need it for! (And if I can't find it, is there another type of flour I can substitute?)

HS: Nina, the last time I bought a big bag of it at Rainbow Grocery, but Whole Foods sometimes carries it as well I believe. I think you could substitute whole wheat pastry flour flour in both of these recipes with no problem. Or maybe rye flour, or a multigrain flour mix w/ the tart.


Thank you for putting the measurments in many forms! Giving us grams helps me to convert to gluten free! I learned from Gluten Free Girl to convert flours based on weight, rather than volume. This cake sounds delish! I think I may have to make it for our annual family trip to San Juan Island for Memorial Weekend coming up!


Wow! What a unique recipe. I adore rosemary...and chocolate....and can't wait to try this! Thank you so much. By the way, I'm loving your blog, especially your photography. Wonderful....


I always enjoy your blog but this is the first time I comment here. I just recently start learning what a blog is.

I can relate to you about having a lot of cook books but end up just looking at them instead of trying them. I love the origin of your blog. Please keep great postings coming.

I love to try this recipe since I love rosemarry and chocolate. I cannot imagine how it would taste so I should bake one myself right?


I have made this cake too and really enjoyed it - I thought it was at it's best a couple of days after it was made - the flavours really seemed to meld together so beautifully - I like too, how you have used a loaf type tin.....

HS: Thanks Kate, I'll have to make another one at age it a day or two. I can imagine it being pretty great that way, particularly if you under bake it by just a hair to keep things extra moist.


What a unique cake! Very curious to know what the rosemary & chocolate combo will taste like. And I've been sold on olive oil in baking for some time now..


Aceite, romero, chocolate... excelente combinación de productos.
Buena semana


What an intriguing combo of ingredients!

Christie {Honoring Health}

I can imagine how good the texture of the cake s using olive oil. I've been meaning to bake with it.

Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams

Olive oil, herbs and chocolate pair superbly!

Vanilla Water

Ohhhh this looks sooo good! I love baking with olive oil! I've made some fantastic bread using olive oil that it's so smooth it almost melts in your mouth.

Chocolate Freckles

I recently made a potato rosemary flatbread that this reminds me of - I love that it is a loaf though! Looks great!

Simply Life

Fantastic! Bet your cake was a hit there!

Belinda @zomppa

what a beatiful recipe!!! I find the combination between chocolate and rosemary so unusual but at the same time so interesting...i want to try this cake as soon as is possible...i want absolutely taste this joining...congratulations also for your vintage cake pan...;-)


Mmm. Olive oil. This must taste awesome, with a good quality, flavourful olive oil. Thanks for the recipe! :)



This looks great! I was looking for something to bake tomorrow and had not come across anything inspiring until this!!! It is printing out as I write! Thank you!



This looks divine. I’ve never attempted to make a savory cake, but I think I may have to soon!


Thanks for the heads up about Kim's upcomign signings! Your cake looks grand.


Hi! I've been visiting your blog for a while and I like it a lot:)

This recipe looks delicious. I have a pot of rosemary on my sill so I think I'll try it. The addition of spelt flour and olive oil makes it more healthy. I wonder how it would look like in a tart pan. Doesn't it taste more like a sweet bread? Greetings from Poland!

HS: Hi Buncia - it's definitely cake. Nothing bready about it.


Haven't tried spelt flour yet, but I see you use it a lot. I thought it was mostly for gluten intolerance, but I guess in this case it's for texture since you use regular flour too?

Did you attend a lecture on sustainable seafood at the aquarium? Would have liked to have heard that one.

HS: All the different grain flours bring a different flavor, texture, etc to whatever it is you're baking. I think many people like spelt flour because it is considered wheat-free. It's a nice flour to bake with as well.

Re: the conference, we heard a lot about sustainable issues related to seafood - which I don't eat - and food production on the whole. The damage overfishing has done to our oceans is shocking. I can't think of another word to use. For those of you who do eat seafood, have a look at these tools/resources provided by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, there are aps, and pocket guide that can help improve your buying decisions.

Lentil Breakdown

So jealous you got to meet Kim! (And that you got to try over 20 baked goods.) Good for you. Can't wait to see the new book cover!

the French

My cake is now in the oven! I can't wait to taste it. As per my usual method of an olive oil cake, I used greek yogurt instead of whole milk. Will this be OK?
As always, the beautiful and wholesome simplicity of your work is heart-warming.

Katharine @ agirlinmadrid

Wow! Chocolate, rosemary, olive oil...what a fascinating combo!

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan

This recipe sound really interesting. I love olive oil based cakes and spelt flour. It sounds a bit funny though because I always flavour my roast potatoes with olive oil and rosemary, and they are a bit sweet, so I am imagining to cover them with chocolate.. not so exciting :)
Anyway, I want to give this cake a try: do you think that dried rosemary might work there, or is it one of the places where you have to go for the fresh one?


Do you think it possible to substitute for the whole milk for those of us who can't have milk? I'm not sure with this recipe if a milk substitute would get the same results, given that they are mostly either nut or grain with some water and sweetener. I often use hazelnut milk in substitutions...


I just have to say this is my go to recipe site. EVERY single thing I have made my family (including kid) has loved. I cannot wait to make this, the rhubarb crumble and that pappardelle pasta!

Laura Thoel

I may have to change my plans for tonight from doing chores to BAKING THIS CAKE! I bought some spelt flour recently and have been thinking what to use it on first. This should be perfect!


Here Here to Leslie C's idea of a milk substitution! Perhaps coconut milk? Would love to see more recipes using non-dairy, non-soy milk substitutions. Your coconut chocolate pudding recipe is DIVINE btw. Look fwd to trying this one out if we can sort the milk issue. :)


I am definitely going to try this recipe- anything that makes use of the herbs I am growing is helpful. I haven't seen the book you made it from, but I will definitely check that out- sounds like you had a serious carb-fest, but to me that is like a dream come true!


What a wonderful idea to celebrate the upcoming holiday weekend. The rosemary in the farmers markets in NYC has been fabulous over the last few weeks!

Heidi also if you get a moment, I'd love to celebrate more of your healthy living recipes and fun at It would be a pleasure to introduce you to the community.
- noelle

JuicyNoelle (






So inspiring, thank you KIM, i have the book! and thank you HEIDI for your special "minor tweaks" which makes everything always so perfect. Sunshine from Paris to you all.


This cake is now next on my list to try from the book. Love olive oil cake, but rosemary and chocolate sound like an interesting combination I never would have thought of. Sounds (and looks!) great Heidi.


Thank you for adding measurements in grams too! So helpful :) Must try this recipe this weekend :)


Heidi, Thanks so much for sharing your special tweaks on the recipe. I must vouch that it was indeed very tasty and super moist. It was wonderful to meet you and Kim, and the potluck was outstanding. I look forward to another one.
Take care and happy baking,

Alison @ Beets and Biscuits

I've slowly been working my way through this book. love everything i've made so far, and two things i haven't made are this cake and those cookies you mentioned! will give both a try and report back when i do it!!

heather @ chiknpastry

Sounds so lovely. I have yet to try an olive oil cake - I think it's high time I do so!


What kind of olive oil are you using. Extra virgin or just regular olive oil? Thanks for the recipe. Looks delicious.

Frank Rizzo

That cake was the 3rd thing I made from that book and OH, what a winner it is. I also made the Kasha pudding and wow was that rich and good and of course the Figgy Buckwheat scones. Thanks for telling us about this book. Have ordered Plenty. Thanks again, I think!


I love this - it looks easy and has that special something!

Babs @gleefulfood

Heidi! I adore your blog in its entirety and love reading about the recipes. Sadly, I can't make many of the baked items as I'm deathly allergic to eggs :(. Any suggestions for substitutions? This recipe looks divine but not sure how to attempt it without eggs. Thanks again for all your contributions to the world. :)


As much as I love rosemary I had decided to add fennel seeds over the rosemary. I had a "cookie" type biscuit from Span that was made with olive oil and fennel and was fantastic.
I tried the same concept with this cake using first cold press extra virgin olive oil and it was out of this world. The fennel , along w/this wonderfully fruity olive oil and the italian chocolate chunks gave the cake a fantastic flavor.
Would definitely make it again!


Sounds amazing! This is definitely going on my "to make" list. Thanks as always for the inspiration!


awesome! can't wait to see your book cover! :)


Oh my..this looks divine!! Can almond meal be substituted for the spelt flour?


I love the simplicity of this recipe. In Catalonia we often use oil instead of butter in our desserts.

Elisabet Figueras

I love your pan (great find!). It was perfect to bake this lovely bread in.


Ohhhh this sounds exquisite!

Does anyone have ideas for gluten free options? What would be a good substitute for both flours and would I need to add anything else in?


This combination of flavors is extremely intriguing- lovely pan, as well.

I'm excited to make this with an alternate milk, most likely almond or hemp milk for me, but i'm not too sure what to substitute for the eggs. As the flavor balance is already so delicate, I'm loathe to add anything that would throw it off. Perhaps a flax egg is the best option? I originally thought of apple sauce, but i think that might add too much of it's own flavor to the cake.

What are your thoughts, Heidi?


This recipe looks so good. So do the photos!! I can't wait to try.


My grandson is ALLERGİC TO MİLK and loves cakes.Do you think that İ can use coconut or soy milk. Thanks.

semra kulin

Is there a way to convert this to GF? I may have to do some experimenting!


what should i use to substitute the eggs?


I just knew I had to make this today the moment I saw it - I love rosemary and so rarely see it in sweets of any kind. I make rosemary-infused simple syrup for my iced tea in the summer, but I haven't had any great ideas for other sweet applications for it.

Thank you so much for posting this recipe! My partner and I both took bites tonight and said "this one's a keeper." I honestly think this is one of the best cakes I've made in a long time.


My heart skipped a beat when I saw this title in my email! I am really very greedy, but I adore anything at all with rosemary (I have planted rosemary hedges in every house I have ever lived in) and am making this today!


This looks lovely. i would never have put rosemary and chocolate together, but it sounds fantastic. I can;t wait to try this bread, I'm really curious about the texture, with the spelt flour and the olive oil... shoul dbe interesting!


This looks delicious! Where can I find spelt flour?


What a beautiful looking loaf. :-) Makes me want to bake one, RIGHT NOW!!! [K]

Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro

Your cakes are beautiful. I love the combinations in the cake and the use of olive oil. Thanks for the tips to make it turn out perfectly.


I look forward to trying this very interesting cake out on some lucky friends.

I was wondering if you've had a chance to look at My Nepenthe by Romney Steele? Stories and recipes from the Big Sur restaurant, Nepenthe.

HS: I have! It's a beautiful book. I featured this scone recipe a while back.


i just made the cake with the following substitutions: 2 cups of whole wheat pastry flour, 2 tbsp of wheat bran, skim milk, half a cup of really good olive oil and half a cup of trader joe's olive oil. dry rosemary (i should've chopped it more, but oh well). it is delish. thank you heidi!

HS: Thanks for reporting back Grenelle.


is that parchment paper that you have lined your baking pan? this cake looks and sounds lovely!


I've never tasted olive oil cakes, so I think I'll enjoy this one. Some chocolate, olive oil, Oh what a combo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Hi Heidi, I have been meaning to ask this question a while, but have forgotten to......I am curious as to the best way to store these flours -spelt, buckwheat, rye etc. Kim Boyce says to store them in the fridge rather than freezer if you don't often use them - I have been keeping mine in the freezer because I have more freezer space than fridge space - how do you store your flours?


Great recipe. I make cakes with olive oil quite often but I haven't tried rosemary with chocolate before. Sounds like a strange combination. I'm curious about it.

my little expat kitchen

This sounds wonderful. I was wondering what to bake over the coming long weekend, and I think this is it!

Susan UK

Hi Heidi,

Do you think I could substitute quinoa flour for spelt?




I have so few things in my kitchen right now since I"m moving soon, but I only had to buy chocolate and grab some rosemary from outside to make this...can't wait!

perfect, thanks!


This looks so interesting! I'd love to try this with some fresh rosemary from my garden!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday

Looks amazing! I just got Kim's cookbook and love it love it love it. Thanks for introducing it to us :-)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Did you use the 2 c whole wheat pastry flour and 2 tbs wheat bran in place of both the spelt flour and enriched flour? Just wanted to make sure as I'd like to try it this way. Loaf pan vs tart pan?
(And Heidi, thanks--I've been on the lookout for a delish/easy olive oil cake! You're brilliant as always.)

Judge Son

Hi there, wondering about using almond milk int he recipe rather than regular milk. I can't have any dairy so wondered your thoughts on doing so. Would it also be possible to change out the milk in other reciepes with alomond milk without any issues?

Thanks for your help. Krista


thanks Heidi for the lovely recipe, i rushed home from work to make the cake knowing I have all the ingredients and we have rosemary all around here (in Jerusalem), and indeed it came out amazing!
I always love using the recipes you put here!


I first tried baking with rosemary when I made another recipe on Heidi's blog - the pine nut shortbread with rosemary. Wonderful! I make these every year as part of my holiday baked good gifts to friends.


I absolutely love this blog! My cake is in the oven and I can't wait to try it. It already smells divine.


Love this, Heidi! But how can I "veganize" this recipe (i.e., 86 the eggs without using an egg replacer) and still produce a fabulous cake? Thanks!


Such a beautiful pan, and the cake is second to none as well. I can just imagine biting into a morsel of that, with just a little rhubarb butter for good measure. Two questions: 1) Would one be best off to use a pumace olive oil, for sake of taste? I am afraid the fruity flavor of a good virgin oil could be ruined? 2) A darker chocolate would be okay here, right? I have my hands on some x-bitter couvature 63% that might fit the bill...

Jason Sandeman

yuuuuu-uuuummmm!!!! i just pulled this cake out of the oven. gorgeous in the fluted tart pan and tastes absolutely as delicious as i'd envisioned! i used a mix of cake and all-purpose flours, and substituted oat flour for spelt since i didn't have any on hand. i added an extra bit of milk since oat soaks up so much moisture. made this with a very strong and fruity imported olive oil - sagra tradizionale - and the flavor comes through beatuifully in the cake. perfect all around! 40 minutes for the tart pan and 25-30 for the muffin tins with convec on in a gas viking. thanks heidi for a new favorite!

p.s. the muffin tin tasters were so good i couldn't help but think this would make outstanding cupcakes with an icing made from greek yogurt or sour cream or creme fraiche..... hmmm.....


I am very intrigued by the combination of rosemary and chocolate. I will have to give this one a try. I made the quinoa bread a while back, but my cream center didn't set. It could have been my cream, but I ate around that and it was delicious. More like a side than bread.

Casey Angelova

mmmmmm mmmmmmmm!!!
Just made (a variation of) this recipe. I had to substitute SR flour because I had run out of plain and had no spelt!!! I also quickly glanced at a post that used fennel seeds (which sounded yum) and I made them in a muffin tray - De. Lish. Us.
25 minutes on 170 and the fennel, olive oil and chocolate are an amazing combination. Will try the original recipe when I'm next in possession of spelt (rural Australia - will have to wait for city friends to visit, at least I can offer them a delicious reward!).
Thanks Heidi - another winner!


its one of the most delicious thing that i have read about it,
and I am rushing to the super store to get the things to make this cake and i am feeling so sorry on my self that i have to wait approximatly 3 hours to taste this,Oh
But dont worry at the end i am the only one who is enjoying this all alone with the cup of coffee


This looks fantastic! But what is spelt flour?? I am new to baking!


I made this last night and it was heavenly! I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of spelt and chocolate chips (what I had). The fun part was I subbed part of the rosemary with lavender leaves! It worked nicely. I liked the loaf pan idea, so I baked them in 4 mini loaf pans to give some away to neighbors. :)


This sounds like the greatest thing ever. Any suggestions for making it vegan?

Would a ground flax & water / nut milk variation work? (Only one way to find out, I know.) Any suggestions before going for it?


I just made it last night (without Spelt flour, unfortunately). I added some lemon zest to it, and it was a big hit at the family dinner table. In fact I am having a piece right now with some green tea...Yum! Thank you!


I was just thinking of making a rosemary, olive oil and lemon cake. It just sounds so nice for dessert on a warm day.


For everyone whos been asking about possible veganizations, i've just finished mine up and it came out lovely. I ended up subbing hemp milk for the whole milk and blended silken tofu for the eggs. Here's my recipe:

Dry ingredients:
2 1/4 cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 cup / 4 oz / 115g sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Wet ingredients:
3/4 cup silken tofu, blended with 1-2 tablespoons water
1 cup / 240 ml olive oil
3/4 cup / 180 ml hemp milk (original flavor)
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
5 ounces / 140 g bittersweet chocolate (70% cacao), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons sugar for top crunch

It came out moist and delicious, with nice form.

HS: Thanks for this Jessie, glad it worked nicely.


Wow... this looks really interesting. I'm sure it was delicious!


I made this yesterday and it was easy. We are dairy and egg free (allergies) so I used coconut milk (SO Delicious coconut milk from the container) and flaxseed egg replacer (ground flaxseed blended with water and chilled in refrigerator to set) and it came out yummy. I also used White Whole Wheat flour instead of the all purpose flour. Thanks!


Dear Jessie,
Thanks for the vegan post. Big help to know what you did and that the results were just as good as the real thing. Also appreciate the full recipe - makes it easy now. I'm rather new to all this-I am pretty dumb about flour types still and wasn't sure if you could sub all the ww pastry for the AP flour and get away with it. Thanks for clarifying that and the milk substitute as well. Glad it worked. I'm gonna try!



(A preface, I don't like things terribly sweet.)
I made the cake yesterday. It is like a pound cake without the pound of butter. The texture is very good, but I did not like the chocolate mixed in. I thought it overpowered the taste and when the cake is cool it become hard again and sort of weird in the cake (IMHO). I made it in a tart pan but would do it in the future in a loaf pan with parchment paper like Heidi did. (but omit the sugar on top--sorry Heidi). Since I will eliminate the chocolate I will try 2 T (instead of 1-1/2) of fresh rosemary and serve with sliced strawberries or peaches in season (a fruit with a little juice). Also, I would not use expensive olive oil--I used Berio Extra Virgin (green label) and it was fine. I think another milk (soy or coconut milk ) would be very interesting to try.



I made this last night and chilled and tasted this morning (baby shower this afternoon). I subbed with what I had: 3/4 cup regular Evoo + 1/4 cup lemon olive oil; regular white flour; some almonds I ground out of the freezer (so there were some big chunks left in the grinder),1/4 cup flax seeds, chopped truffles, almond milk, and dried rosemary. I think it turned out pretty good/interesting, but I will have to see if it's tasty enough to re-test with spelt flour (I live in Korea and don't know what to call it here) and fresh rosemary when I get back to the states in a few weeks. A co-worker tasted this morning when I was refrigerating it at work and she gave it 5 stars for creativity and 4 stars for taste.
Thanks for posting this! very fast to assemble and bake.


This sounds incredible! I love when you can use olive oil effectively in recipes....
I also wanted to say that I love the rustic feel to your photographs! They are amazing - you are very talented : )
thanks for sharing!

emily s

I made this yesterday to rave reviews. What a wonderful, simple recipe. I made it as written, except I used soy milk since I realized at the last minute that was all I had. I live on an island in the Puget Sound and my local grocery had spelt flour! I used a reqular cake pan and, as I said, it received raves. Thanks, Heidi!


This one is a keeper!!!!! I make this cake as one of my birthday treats for work . When I told people the name of this cake, they all made a funny face, but once they took a bite, they all had this surprisingly wonderful look. This cake went faster than the blueberry, rhubarb cake that I made.
I followed the recipe by using weight and also used a mixture of 70% and 85% cacao. I think I will make this cake on our next gathering. Thanks!!


Mmm, I bet the combination of rosemary and chocolate is just great! What a cool sounding cake!


Just lovely. If you need to lower the oil, substitute 3/4 C of applesauce for 1/2C of the olive oil and whip the egg whites to soft peaks and blend in to lighten the texture. You can also use silken tofu instead of eggs and any nut or soy milk. Try this with lavender and lemon zest instead of rosemary and chocolate. Dried cherries (maybe soaked in marsala), thyme and almond extract would also be nice.


I give a lot of your recipes to my mum for her to make (and me occasionally). This one was so delicious I feel compelled to write and thank you.. I'm thinking lavender in the place of the rosemary might be an interesting alteration. I'll report back on that one..


This cake is perfection. Almost the best part is the look that comes over people's faces as they eat it (mentioned in several other posts). At first it is completely approachable with its sugar crunch and chocolate, but as they chew, they encounter the rosemary-olive oil flavor, and you can see the uncertainty, thoughtfulness, and then decision that it is all right, crossing their faces. And yet it is not at all in your face, it's a very gentle, approachable cake. A cake that makes you stop and think for a moment. A cake that broadens your mind as well as your belly. Thanks, Heidi!


I made this cake yesterday. It turned out wonderful! It definitely is best the next day after tightly wrapped. I substituted whole milk for low fat with no problem. Be sure to use the sugar on the top - it really adds something to the cake. I used extra virgin olive oil. Great recipe!


Love the combination of olive oil and rosemary. But to me, the chocolate was too much. Next time i would use much less chocolate, or leave it out altogether. Maybe substitute it with lemon zest instead...


The smell of the cake wafting from the oven converted my skeptical husband last night.

Now, we are both eagerly awaiting a potluck this afternoon to try it.


What is the length of the vintage baton pan that you used?

HS: Hi Heather - it was 4 1/2 x 13 inches - have fun!


Hey Heidi!

So, Lisa’s birthday is Saturday (it's a big one!) and I’m charge of the cake. I want to make this cake, but her daughter, Natalie has been diagnosed with Alopecia and avoids wheat, dairy and soy. Could I use a non-wheat flour (chickpea or almond?) and could I use coconut or Almond milk?

HS: Lori! Big hugs to Lisa for me. I haven't tried a 100% non-wheat/GF flour swap here, but others have had success with the coconut milk swap....wish I could give you a definitive solution here. xx!

Lori Narlock

This is mine too! I have made it countless times. I use a combo of 1 3/4 cup whole-spelt and 1/2 almond flour and add in the zest an orange too. Divine rustic cake and always a hit each time I make it. xx

Aria Alpert Adjani

Could you substitute a gluten free flour in this recipe? Thanks

HS: Hi Ruthie - I haven't personally tried a GF flour here, but if you try, please let me know!


Thank you so much for reminding us of this great recipe! I've made it several times but it had dropped off my radar. Can't wait to revisit it with your tweaks!


Looks great! I have a recipe for an olive oil cake using red grapes and also serving with grape compote that is so good, will try this too.


I was just wondering what to do with that leftovers of my bunch of rosemary! I remember you posting this the first time but I never tried it... I think now I better - it looks amazing 💛

Liberty Browne | Homespun Capers

I love this cake so much, just watching the video I think I could smell it.... I remember the first time I made it maybe five or six years ago my children were kids and they didn't like the rosemary too much, I continued baking it and taking it with friends or family, always welcomed everywhere. The last time I made it a few months ago it didn't last two days! My now grown teenagers devoured it 😳 I think their taste buds are evolving 😂Thanks for such lovely recipe


I've baked this cake using the exact recipe. Except I've baked in on a bundt pan (12 cup). I've baked it for 32mins and it seems to look okay. Can wait to taste it. Thanks for the lovely fuss-free recipe : )


This cake is perfection! Made it last night and it's almost all gone, and will make it again this weekend for guests. Used unsweetened almond milk instead of whole. Thank you!!!


My husband was over the moon with this cake and said it has a grown up flavor. I think that is an accurate description. Not too sweet with a lovely savory flavor with the rosemary. Very satisfying.


Heidi, I have made this cake a number of times over the years - it quickly became one of my favorites. I probably add a bit more chocolate to it, because, well, chocolate. But the rosemary is my favorite part - from the way it smells when you're chopping it, to the delicacy it takes on once baked. OMG, now I have to go make this again! Thank you!


I made this over the weekend as our contribution to a Sunday dinner hosted by friends. Turned out absolutely perfect - just the right amount of sweet. I was really surprised how well the rosemary played with the chocolate and that it didn't over power the cake. I am now a complete convert to the hand chopped chocolate chunks (or as my wife likes to say "chocolate chips, from SCRATCH!").

Jill Shearer

I made this cake last night. I brought it to work two hours ago, and my coworkers have already devoured it. It was a big hit, and something that I will make again soon! Thanks.


Wow, this looks incredible. I would never have thought of rosemary and chocolate, but it sounds so good :) Will definitely be trying this over the weekend. Have a friend coming over for lunch and I think she'd love this. Thanks!!


Hello Heidi,
I just made this incredible cake and truly thank you for the recipe. Living on the North Coast, I am 30 miles from the nearest food market thus I was forced to make a few substitutions which proved amazingly successful. Instead of whole milk, I incorporated my homemade Greek-style full-fat yogurt and as i didn't have any Spelt flour in my larder, I employed what I had on hand, that being predominately rice flour with a small quantity of hi-protein white and whole wheat flours. I used Trader Joe's 85% bittersweet chocolate (again what I had in store) and increased the amount of finely chopped fresh rosemary one and a half times. The result, a totally enjoyable and beyond, EXCELLENT CAKE!!! My only problem is that I can't stop slicing triangles of this delightful and delicious construct...which I am sure is not a low-calorie concoction. Oh well, who cares, I'll try fasting tomorrow?!

BTW, I was born in the Santa Cruz Mtns but spent my childhood and youth in Saratoga. First, we lived on Bucknall Lane ( which I'm sure you know, crossed Quito Road) where I attended El Quito Park School and then Moreland Junior High before moving to Saratoga proper, which was truly a step in the right direction. I had the most wonderful childhood that you might imagine.
Currently, I have been a professional chef for many years as well as a jewelry maker, goldsmith and most recently, an architect. Diversity is my strong suit! :-O)
I LOVE your website and am a loyal follower. The new and improved series of recipes is totally inspirational and SOooo well designed and done. Thank you for that.
FYI, I currently live in Mendocino which has been a relief and refuge from the chaos and craziness of the Bay Area that I once inhabited and loved immensely. I lived in The City several times during the Sixties and Seventies, absolute paradise, but I can no longer tolerate the traffic, turmoil and blatant insurgence of occupation by Google and other Silicon Valley entities. Perhaps it's cuz I am now 72 years young but no longer intrigued or entranced by the inevitable expansion and direction that evolution has unleashed. Very sad from my perspective.
Anyway, I have resisted boring you with my story but somehow, that is no longer acceptable and I apologize for this oratory. It's just that I feel a soul connection and you bring memories flooding back which makes me smile and very thankful.
Best, and keep it coming,

Pteryl Dactyl

Made this yesterday even better today. Next time I'll try lavender. Thanks

Julie Fox

I just want to thank you for all the great recipes over the years. I have been living in China for 10 years and I still remember when you posted this recipe back in 2010/11. I took a photo of your website and recipe and told myself that when I could get these ingredients in China I would make it. Since it was taking longer than I expected, I started asking friends visiting from Hong Kong to bring me fresh rosemary, good chocolate, and spelt flour. Your 1$ rosemary loaf pan I could never find here, but I did get a bundt pan that a friend gave me when they left China. I do have to say things are much easier now to find like fresh ingredients even organic ones. I make your version of the Rosemary olive oil cake, and your lemony banana cake, rest assured it is well received by the Chinese friends as well as my foreign friends here. Thank you for being you! Many blessings to you and your family.

HS: Thank you for the sweet note Jesse - this made my morning!

Jesse G

i've been reading your inspiring posts and trying your recipes i think for something like 10 years, though this is probably the first time i'm leaving a comment.
i made this cake over the weekend, and took some in for my coworkers. it was devoured and i had a few requests for the recipe - obviously i directed them to this page! ;) i only managed to scrape a scant tablespoon off my poor rosemary seedling...i hope it survives the massacre! anyway, i am definitely going to put this recipe in my regular repertoire, and for next time i will make sure i have a larger plant on hand! :)

HS: Love hearing this Aradhana! :) If your seedling ends up flowering, you'll have to sprinkle some blossoms on top as well. xx!


I've been cutting back on facebook and other highly interactive social media sites and simply reading food blogs and websites. I think I've gone through 5 years of your recipes and posts and I just love every single post. They are thoughtful and honest and fun. I made this cake over the weekend for a guest and we enjoyed it immensely! Thank you so much for offering so many easy, accessible, and veg friendly recipes on your site!


Wow! Just made it this morning. (Been on my to-do list far too long.) So very good! Definitely a keeper! Thank you!


This was the perfect cake recipe to play with today, since we didn't have enough butter for a traditional sponge. We infused the olive oil with rosemary and lime peel, then swapped out the chocolate for feta cheese crumbles. Topped with a rosemary lime glaze, the cake was a sweet and savory surprise that everyone devoured!


I've been making this since the time of the original posting and it's a recipe I've reached for at different milestones in my life. It's nostalgic to think back to the first time I made this (in early 2010), and reflect on how my whole life has changed, but this recipe has been a constant. It's such a foolproof and delicious melange of rich, herbaceous and choco flavours and I will be making it for years. Thank you Heidi!!

HS: Thanks for the sweet note KC!


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